When people ask me how it’s been going from 2 kids to 3, my answer is an overwhelming, “a total dream.” And it has been. 7 months with Jane Ellis has been the sweetest time. The big two adore her, she’s the happiest, most delightful chunk, and in so many ways, it feels like we haven’t missed a beat.
However. Maybe it’s the addition of a third. Maybe it just coincides with a life season or my choreographed work routine, but I feel frazzled more often than not these days. Our podcast recently featured an episode on productivity life hacks, of which I could contribute few (other than some meal prep tips!). I need to relisten, set aside some time, and get myself set up for success.
In the meantime, I’ve been cooking a lot… so *insert the cool catchphrase the kids are using these days* here. One thing is for sure, I would not trade these frenetic, frenzied, frazzled days for anything. Because every single one of them includes my beautiful squirrels, and they are invaluable.
Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – these come together in a snap, and while they’re probably more “ish” than healthy, we love them.
Shortcut Spanish Tortilla – I liked this. I may not make it again, but I liked it. I should add more words, but there you go.
Easy Cheese and Prosciutto Croissants – oh my sweet goodness. These are gems. I made them the week before Christmas and then again for Christmas morning breakfast. And now that I’m revisiting the recipe, I will probably make them again next week.
The Best Yellow Cake Recipe – I never really trust recipes that claim to be the best, but this one turned out to be mostly true. I used this to make the girls’ birthday cake and will definitely be filing it away for future use.
Hot Chocolate Cookies – this was the winning Christmas cookie this year. We went through maybe 3 batches?
Cheeseburger Soup – there are few names that could be less appetizing than cheeseburger soup. Look past it. And use ground turkey. This was delicious.
One Pan Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Skillet – everyone high and low loved this skillet from Wellplated. The flavor combos make it a nourishing comfort food without toooo much guilt.
Shrimp Corn Chowder – another Wellplated win. We don’t make chowders, really ever, but will be revisiting it super soon. Loved every bite.
Five-Spiced Short Rib Tacos – I love Chinese five spice. It’s a real sleeper favorite in our arsenal. And these tacos were an excellent vehicle for it. As usual, I didn’t use short ribs, but opted for a less expensive cut of beef – maybe a chuck roast?
Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon – making this recipe is a little bit of a time investment, but 100% worth it. 100%.
Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo – Clearly we’ve been on a soup kick, and I pretty much love everything Pinch of Yum creates, and this was no exception. I happened to have some smoky broth in my freezer (I boiled the carcass – there’s a yummy word for you – from our Thanksgiving smoked turkey to make broth and froze a ton of it, and it is delicious) and added that in. Wow. So light and good.
Korean Pork Tacos – also tacos. And Asian flavors. David loved these and the short rib tacos.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup – surprise. Another soup. Make this one. Make it tomorrow. Make it next week. It’s cozy, delicious, and filling.
Date Night Rigatoni – David knows that I don’t like to deviate from our meal plan. If it isn’t one of our pre-shopped selections for the week, chances are, I’m not making it. But I saw Pinch of Yum post an Instastory about this recipe yesterday, and I knew my guy would love it. I headed straight to the store for the ingredients and set to work. The detour paid off. He loved it. I did too.
Thai Peanut Ramen – Follow it up by making this next. DELICIOUS.
Beef and Barley Soup – I made this one weeks ago, but it’s worth sharing. We happened to have some leftover smoked brisket in the fridge, and I didn’t want to throw it away, so I quickly Googled a beef and barley recipe, and this was a win.
Feta Brined Roast Chicken – roast chicken is easy, and too many recipes make it too complicated. While I don’t love Ina Garten, her “Perfect Chicken” recipe is a staple in our rotation. BUT I was eager to give this one a try, and I was so glad I did. It’s a little bit of a hassle, but it was worth it. The chicken (and its skin) was so good.
Turkey and Wild Rice Pot Pie – yum, yum, yummety, effing yum. I don’t know why you need wild rice and savory pie crust, but I don’t care.
Crispy Prosciutto White Lasagna – my go-to lasagna choice is Pinch of Yum’s Super Easy One Pot variety, but this prosciutto topped one was a nice departure for a minute. It was a little too rich for me, as someone who doesn’t love white sauce, but for someone else, I could see it becoming a new favorite.
Creamy Taco Shells – my husband loves just about anything pasta related. I like it just fine. But we both liked this dish, and the girls were thrilled about it too.
Skillet Roasted French Onion Chicken and Potatoes – this was a wholesome, hearty, really tasty meal. Admittedly I forgot about it until this roundup, but would make it again in a flash.